Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

little clues from big government

The Glasgow Airport rail link has been abandoned even though preliminary work was already being done. This is sending a very clear message - either the UK government or the Scottish government (or more likely both) accept that air travel is a doomed form of transport and the clear misallocation of resources that a new airport rail link would clearly be is sending the wrong signal. Of course they can't simply state the facts but rather hide behind the world economic crisis and/or climate change.

But every day we are seeing more and more little clues from big government as to what is really happening. The whole process started years ago when the Channel Tunnel was opened as exclusively a rail link. The abadonment of Concorde was the first step in the abandonment of civilian air travel. The switch of resources in the UK from road to rail is striking. That open door is getting wider every day.

Even just a few years ago there were some people who SERIOUSLY believed that the S&D would not reopen. They were living in a dream world of never-ending cheap oil, of benign government and a self regulating atmosphere that could take every punishment we threw at it with no payback. How far off those days seem now!
Posted by Picasa

No comments: